It’s Simchat Torah and let’s dance
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It’s Simchat Torah and let’s dance

Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” is holding a “Rally to Restore Sanity” in Washington later this month, and this is an idea long overdue.

According to the rally’s website, “We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles.”

Far too often lately, debates in the national and international spheres have been dominated by those who can shout the loudest. Whether it’s health care, tea parties, conversion, or women’s rights, the moderate voices are being drowned out by extremists on both sides of the debate.

Today is Simchat Torah, which marks the completion of another annual cycle of Torah readings and begins the cycle anew. Jews across the world – in Toledo, Ohio, and Mea Shearim, from Torah scholars to drunken college students who heard about a party at Hillel – dance with the Torah on Simchat Torah.

During this time of unity, we encourage all Jews – whether Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, or secular – and all Americans – whether Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Tea Party – to put aside their differences and focus on what we have in common, rather than what keeps us apart.

May 5771 be a year of peace, harmony, and prosperity for us all.

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